Blakedale’s new multi-camera system improves highway safety

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The UK’s leading supplier of specialist traffic management and support vehicles for the highways maintenance and construction industry is introducing new camera systems to its fleet, in order to improve the safety of operators and road users, and reduce false insurance claims.

Leading self-drive hire specialist Blakedale has underlined its commitment to road safety by installing a fully recordable multi-camera system as standard to all new 7.5 metric tonne Traffic Management and 18 metric tonne ‘Crash Cushion’ Impact Protection Vehicles (IPVs).

The company’s new multi-camera system consists of up to five infrared CCTV cameras, which cover virtually every angle of the vehicle: rear and forward facing, the near-side blind spot area, and a downward view of the working area. All camera views are displayed on a cab-mounted monitor with integrated hard disk recording (HDR) system. All Blakedale Crash Cushion vehicles are also equipped with side-scan CCTV cameras, driver audible alerts, and vehicle maneuvering warning alarms, to improve driver visibility while reducing the risk of collisions with cyclists and other vulnerable road users.

Optional live-stream software also enables Blakedale customers to track and monitor the progress of multiple vehicles via an online app on their computer or mobile device. As well as providing accurate arrival time estimates, this helps fleet managers to ensure their crews are working safely, and that they are wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).

A further benefit of the new multi-camera system is that it provides high definition quality evidence of any accidents, incidents or near misses that occur around the vehicle or working area, as all footage is saved for 30 days. This improves operator safety and training, and protects drivers against any false insurance claims. So-called ‘crash-for-cash’ scams reportedly cost the motor insurance industry millions of pounds each year. Not only does this ramp up insurance premiums, it also impacts on vehicle downtime, repair costs, and operator safety.

The new multi-camera system is currently being installed on all of Blakedale’s new-build 7.5-metric tonne Traffic Management and 18-metric tonne Crash Cushion vehicles, and can also be retro fitted onto some of the company’s newer vehicles.

Over the past 24 months, the company has invested over US$2.6m (£2m) in a rolling fleet renewal program to ensure its hire customers benefit from the most up-to-date vehicles and safety devices. In addition to IPVs, Blakedale also hires out traffic management and general maintenance vehicles, as well as self-contained Mobile Welfare Units to support workforce crews on site.

“Our new multi-camera system reduces the risks of collisions with our vehicles even further, by eliminating any blind spots and enabling Crash Cushion drivers to see oncoming traffic from all directions,” explained Richard Smith, joint managing director, Blakedale. “In today’s compensation culture, the ability to prove which party is responsible for an accident involving one of our vehicles is a major advantage for both us and our customers.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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